News & Politics

Demand That Obama Go After BushCo's 'Gravest Crimes'

With few reporters asking the President-Elect about Bush's torture crimes, it's up to the rest of us to put accountability on the agenda.

The Obama transition team is taking questions again at Change.gov, throwing open the site this week for citizen input. The first run of this experiment was a mixed bag. The platform was open and transparent, but the official answers felt more like old boilerplate than new responses. When the submitted questions parrot topics in the traditional media, of course, the exchange can feel like a dated press conference. But here's a vital question that few reporters have ever presented to Obama:

Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor (ideally Patrick Fitzgerald) to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?

That question ranked sixth in voting last time -- out of over 10,000 submissions -- but the transition team only answered the top five questions. Now that Vice President Cheney confessed his support for waterboarding on national television, flouting the rule of law, the issue is even more urgent. Activist Bob Fertik, who has submitted the question twice, explains how you can vote to press this issue on the transition team:

Sign in at //change.gov/openforquestions

Search for "Fitzgerald" […and] find our question

Look right for the checkbox, mouseover it so it goes from white to dark, then click to cast your vote

While the press has fixated on the criminal allegations against Gov. Blagojevich, for some reason, the (even more serious) allegations of torture by officials in the current administration receive scant attention. I have not heard one question about this during Obama's transition press conferences, and the traveling press corps almost never pressed Obama on the issue during the general election campaign.

Ari Melber is The Nation's Net movement correspondent and a writer for the magazine's blog.
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